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Do we need to pH adjust our nutrient solutions?

Elmer Fud

Well-Known Member
I grow in soil and my house water is well above 7. I collect rainwater for plant water which helps get the soil ph down in the high 6's
Vinegar works great also as a PH down! (Baking soda is a natural PH up also)

Rain water has EXTREME low alkalinity. Although this is what cannabis plants naturally drink, it Isn't optimal for them for vigor growth. Unless you have a great super soil. Dolomite lime in your medium really helps regulate your PH at the soil level. Therefore not needing to be so cautious about PH'in your water. :green_heart: :snowboating:
 

Elmer Fud

Well-Known Member
I got tired of paying $110 a month for rural water and hooked up my well to the house's water. My water is drinkable with a nice taste so I've not bothered testing it.
I'm growing in soil not water so I don't bother with pH; I'm pretty sure if one doesn't over-fertilize and always be sure to have a nice amount of run-off everything kind of works out.
This is true depending on the quality of grow you want proceed with.. not PH'in your water or soil when your not using any 'super soil's" mixture can possibly create problems. ESPECIALLY when using nutrients..

We are all about optimization correct? Trying to get the biggest yields with the highest potencies possible? If you are a new grower I suggest always PH'in your water. There are so many variables that could potentially go wrong. Might as well end those possibilities before they occur? If you are new grower that is. If you somewhat know what your doing by all means giver! But PH'in your soil and water is a fundamental key in a 110% successful vigorous growth cycle.

Controlling all aspects of our plants will not only help us learn, but optimize our yields, potencies and genetics.

This being said, GIVER'! lol if your a casual home grower and just having fun then my man, almost anything go's! lol.. cannabis is VERY resilient.
Much love :green_heart::Namaste::snowboating:
 
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Elvin

Well-Known Member
This is true depending on the quality of grow you want proceed with.. not PH'in your water in soil when your not using any 'super soil's mixture will create problems. We are all about optimization correct? Try to get the biggest yields with the highest potencies possible? If you are a new grower I suggest always PH'in your water. There are so many variables that could potentially go wrong. Might as well end those possibilities before they occur? If you where a new grower that is. If you somewhat know what your doing by all means giver! But PH'in your soil and water is a fundamental key in a 110% successful vigorous growth cycle.

Controlling all aspects of our plants will not only help us learn, but optimize our yields, potencies and genetics.

This being said, GIVER'! lol if your a casual home grower and just having fun then my man, almost anything go's lol.. cannabis is VERY resilient. :green_heart::Namaste::snowboating:
Sure . . . I need to pH even though my water is fine and I use Kelp4Less's products per label directions. :rolleyes:
No, I'm not about "optimization" (needlessly); this isn't my first rodeo and wasting my time pHing when I know from experience I won't need to adjust is just silly.
 

Elmer Fud

Well-Known Member
Sure . . . I need to pH even though my water is fine and I use Kelp4Less's products per label directions. :rolleyes:
No, I'm not about "optimization" (needlessly); this isn't my first rodeo and wasting my time pHing when I know from experience I won't need to adjust is just silly.
That's fine. No problem with that! To each their own. :) if your not about optimization and your just havin a time, buddy no worries,, giver! Havin fun is 99% of it all anyways. Cheers. :snowboating: :Namaste:
 
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Weaselcracker

Nug of the Year: 2016 - Member of the Month: Sept 2015, Nov 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2016 - Plant of the Month: May 2016
Greetings all! I recently had a running email conversation with the "Grower Services & Product Development Director" at ProMix (aka Premier Tech). I began the conversation by posting a question on their website, asking if I should be treating ProMix HP as soil or soil-less when mixing nutrients.

[Please note that we were not discussing hydro growing. This conversation does not apply to hydro.]

As we have all been taught, the pH range for nutrients is different for soil and soil-less media and I had been using the soil range in my ProMix and wanted to double check. His response left me confused, as he answered the question by giving me the ideal pH range for mineral soil and soil-less growing media. He did not address my question of the correct pH of the nutrient mix.

We went back and forth for a few days and his answers always referred to the pH of the media and not what we were pouring into the media. I kept trying to narrow my question and he continued in the same vein. I contained my exasperation so as not to short circuit the chain.

At one point he said this:
"It is the potential acidity or basicity of the fertilizer chemistry and the alkalinity content of your water that affects the pH of the growing medium. For the fertilizers, it is called ‘potential’ since it is determined by the chemistry and the quantity of fertilizer nutrients that are applied and the ‘potential’ they have to interact with the plant root system and influence the pH of the growing medium up or down."

All related to the medium. And the interesting use of the word "potential," but again ended it by talking about moving the pH of the growing medium.

Rather than bore you with the all back and forth, I will post this summary that I sent him in one of our last emails. He approved of this summary (italics mine):

1. Ideal pH range for mineral soil is 6.0-6.5. Soil-less growing media, such as PRO-MIX, have an ideal pH range of 5.5-6.0.

2. However, pH of nutrient water is irrelevant to the pH of any soil or growing media. It is the alkalinity of nutrient water and the potential acidity/basicity of the fertilizer(s) that influence the pH of the growing medium and root zone. For example, if the alkalinity of nutrient water is moderate or high, pH of growing medium will rise over time.
a. Plant roots are electrically charged and must maintain a neutral balance.​
b. For ammonium nitrogen (NH4) fertilizers, plants release of hydrogen ions to take up NH4. Hydrogen released is essentially acid and this drives pH down.​
c. For nitrate (NO3) form of nitrogen in fertilizers, plant exchange hydroxyl ions for NO3 uptake, which causes growing medium pH to rise.​
d. Alkalinity (CACO3) is essentially dissolved limestone. The higher the alkalinity of water, the greater tendency to raise pH of growing medium over time.​

3. It is more important to keep track of the pH of the growing medium than the pH of the nutrient solution we feed the plants.

And at the bottom of that summary I added one last direct question:
"If I’m growing in ProMix HP and I mix up the nutrient solution and it reads 7.4 pH, it is not necessary for me to adjust that number down using phosphoric acid or the like. I can pour it into the pot at 7.4 and my plants will be able to uptake those nutrients?"

His response was a direct "Yes."

o_O

-----------------------------------
We had discussions on the correct way to check the pH of soil or soil-less medium (none involved checking our nute runoff:)). I'll post the various methods he sent me in a different thread and post a link here. I don't want to distract from the info above!

Only about half way through this interesting thread.
The first thing that comes to mind for me is this- I’m growing in Sunshine Mix #4, which is more or less the same thing as Promix in most cases, and if I stray much outside the 5.5-6 ph range my plants absolutely 100% do suffer for it, very obviously.

So unless I completely misread- and I’ve reread the first post a few times now - it’s definitely not true what he’s saying- that the ph of the nutrient water solution is irrelevant.

Except- there was also the confusing comment that- this doesn’t apply to hydro.

Isn’t peat moss/perlite soilless, with bottled soluble nutrients and (almost) no amendments, just a form of hydro? That’s always been my understanding. Yes the sunshine mix has lime in it but that only goes so far.

Once you work a lot of amendments and microbial life into it as in the Kit, then I’d call it soil.

If anyone wants me to feed a plant at 7.4 ph or 4 ph for a few weeks and see how it goes, I can, but I feel like that ground has been well covered already.
 

InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018
Yes the sunshine mix has lime in it but that only goes so far.
If your plants are suffering as soon as you stop pH'ing your nutes then your soil is not buffered correctly. I haven't pH'd my nutes this year and I'm pulling banner harvests.

And soil-less isn't hydro, because soil-less offers the ability of the medium to do pH buffering.
 

Weaselcracker

Nug of the Year: 2016 - Member of the Month: Sept 2015, Nov 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2016 - Plant of the Month: May 2016
I’ve talked to the Sunshine Mix ph guy a few times and he seems to really know his stuff. I doubt the company is buffering the mix wrong. I’ll run a test victim plant or two.
 

flashmp3

Well-Known Member
Didn't read the entire post but in case this video is interesting and confirms the no need to buffer if lime is in :

 

InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018

Weaselcracker

Nug of the Year: 2016 - Member of the Month: Sept 2015, Nov 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2016 - Plant of the Month: May 2016
Does he say what the mix is buffered to or does it say on the bag?
Doesn’t say on the bag. The ph buffer range conversations are old and mean delving into six year old+ emails but I’ll see what I can dig up.

I’ll email him some of this conversation and see what he says.

More important for me than theoretical info or opinions on the net, is that real life experience has told me in no uncertain terms, over and over, that I do have to ph in my grow.
So obviously the blanket statement that it’s not necessary does not cover everyone. I wish it did.
 
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Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019
Doesn’t say on the bag. The ph buffer range conversations are old and mean delving into six year old+ emails but I’ll see what I can dig up.

I’ll email him some of this conversation and see what he says.

More important for me than theoretical info or opinions on the net, is that real life experience has told me in no uncertain terms, over and over, that I do have to ph in my grow.
So obviously the blanket statement that it’s not necessary does not cover everyone. I wish it did.
exactly, this advice doesn't work for everyone, and that is my primary objection for putting this out there as if it does.
 

Weaselcracker

Nug of the Year: 2016 - Member of the Month: Sept 2015, Nov 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2016 - Plant of the Month: May 2016
I’ll contact Shiv Reddy at Sungro Horticulture, and I’ll read this thread to my plants and see what they have to say about it in a few weeks. Should I read it to them nicely, or loudly while waving some pruning shears around I wonder? :hmmmm:
 

InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018
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